Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Fun Project

My youngest son is working on his Master's at Syracuse University, so I built the following car. I rebuilt an old Rivarossi 12-1 into a 12-2 a while ago but I never finished it. 12-2 Pullmans use the University suffix, I already have Valparaiso University, used on the B&M so I need a good name for this car. I thought Syracuse would work well. Unfortunately there was no real Syracuse University name used by Pullman, but that did not stop me. Fortunately for me there was a City of Syracuse and I had the decals for that name making lettering much easier. I modified the car, including eliminating the vestibule on one end by using New England Rail services parts, the same for the roof a/c duct work.  I used a mix of NERS parts and Branchline parts for the underframe and Branchline parts for the interior.  The trucks are original Rivarossi with Kadee wheel sets. I body mounted Kadee couplers.

Here is Syracuse University next to the NH's New Franklin.
The upgraded Rivarossi holds up well with the Branchline kit.

Friday, August 25, 2023

New Franklin

The New Haven Railroad had exactly one 14 section sleeper, the New Franklin. Do not confuse the 14 single bedroom cars that the New Haven had 10 after the Pullman divesture of heavyweight cars. The New Franklin was repainted by Pullman into the then current paint scheme of two-tone gray with white (or aluminum) stripes and lettering in early 1955. Prior to that it was in Pullman green. The car was listed available up to September 1962, making it the last NH owed heavyweight sleeper active on the roster.  Both Walthers and Branchline make the correct 14 section model and I believe both have released the car in NH lettering but in green, never two-tone gray.  Another request to manufactures, how about painted, but unlettered Pullman cars in both Pullman Green and the two-tone gray with stripes so we can just add the names we need?  Anyway, I decided I wanted one for my Bar Harbor Express, so I used a Branchline kit that I painted using a couple of custom mixed paints to get the grays. Decals are a mix if Microscale striping and NH lettering plus names from a Bethlehem Car Works decal set. The car were constructed per the kit instructions, I did add window shaded and railings where needed.  

Pro Tip

I just recently learned the pest way to hide decal film is after applying the decals to spray the car with gloss coat and any film literally disappears.  After that you can over coat with a dull and do your weathering.  I found that out form Hunter Hughson and his website: https://theniagarabranch.wordpress.com/author/hunterhughson/

Monday, August 21, 2023

Concord, NH 37th Annual Train Show

I got a call from my friend Bear to see if I wanted to go to the Concord, NH train show.  Since they have moved the show from September to August, I have not made it much. It is held in a municipal ice arena, so it is a decant size, had a good crowd and was very busy. It was a typical mix of local dealers, privet individuals selling things, and a few clubs with layouts. Through it all I came up with a couple of purchases. First a bit of a beat-up Rivarossi 10-6 sleeper, is going to acquire a set of Brass Car Sides I have had for longer time than I care to mention. The second purchase is much more exciting, a Boston and Maine wood caboose resin kit made by Train and Trooper in Maine.  These are tough to find these days and I was very happy to stumble upon it.

Pro Tip

As my friend Chris Adams of the Valley Local blog, I have a pro tip for you, when you buy detail parts write on them if you purchased them for a particular project, in this case, D&H PA's.  I have a knack of not putting them with the project then days (or years) later I am trying to figure out why I own them.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Delaware and Hudson Railway

I have been playing around a bit with some D&H stuff over the last 4 years or so.  At first I just want to model the Laurentian after it was reequipped as streamliner in the late 1960's with second hand PA's and Rio Grand passenger cars (plus a mishmash of other cars).  I have PA's from Walther's early runs as well as three correct coaches from them.  I also ended up getting several books on the D&H and learned more about the overnight train the Montreal Limited and it's use of NYC/PC sleepers.  I started all of he cars below in the spring and have finally gotten around to finishing them as I needed a break from my 8-5 Pullman build as it is giving me some issues that I will talk about in a future posting.  Here is what I have built so far for my D&H passenger trains.

This is a fun car.  It was originally built for the Eire in the 1920's, the Erie later "streamlined" it and it became part of the EL in the merger. I believe 4 of these went to the D&H to fill the need for coaches. the model is an old Nickle Plate brass import from the 1970's.  It came as a two car set, the other car being an Eire milk car that was later sold the B&M, that will be another posting some time. 

Right up to the start of Amtrak, the D&H used at least two or three heavyweight baggage cars that were not painted in the new colors.  They would get painted later on for excursion service.  This model is a repainted 60' baggage from the Rivarossi series that Walthers distributed a few years ago.  It is not a perfect match, but it is a good stand in for the car. 

This is a New York Central 10-6 sleeper, these were in use right to the end of service in 1971 on the Montreal Limited.  The model is from Walthers. I painted and lettered.  It is not a perfect match to the NYC, I believe the window arrangement is off along the aisle side of the car.  

I believe this side is more correct!

This is a NYC Stream series 6db-Lounge car.  This would provide drinks and a light snack in the evening and coffee and a light breakfast in the morning.  These cars also would be used on the Laurentian as first class space during the day. The lounge would not be serving anything then as the D&H supplied a diner.  The model is a Union Station's styrene sides with the fluting overlay that I applied to a Walthers bud car as a core. This is the first time I have used a set of there sides and I will definitely be using them more in the future.  

Here is the other side of the car with the service door for the kitchen.

The Montreal Limited was a small train, often only four cars.

Much like the D&H, I went to see what I had sitting around that could be put back in service.  This is an Old Rivarossi 1930's coach that I have owned since I was a teenager. (Way back in the 1980s!) I think it makes a reasonable stand in for the AFC built cars that the D&H got from the EL, originally built for the DL&W.  (More alphabet soup).  The car had an interior so that is nice, the trucks however are really poor, so I took a pair of Walther's trucks that I had leftover from other projects and mounted them on the car.  It turned out pretty good. 

The last car is a Walther's coach that represents the cars from the Rio Grand. I have managed to pick up three of these over time so I am in good shape with coaches for the trains.  

I have a former Rio Grand RPO/Baggage brass car sides that I need to build and I need to go back to Union Station Products and order a set of diner sides.  That will complete the Laurentian.  I have the PA's, but they need detail wok to get them to look more D&H!

Wednesday, August 2, 2023


Tuesday, August 1 was a perfect day, so my wife, my son and I went up to the White Mountains to do a little hiking.  On the way home I drove through Tilton, NH and discovered what I believe is a New Haven Railroad DS wood boxcar.  Here are some quick photos of the car and two from internet to compare it.

The NH started building these cars in 1926 and received more the 12,500.  As built the cars had arch bar trucks, wood ends and wood doors.  Many cars were rebuilt over time getting any combination of new ends, doors and trucks. The cars were done in revenue service by 1951, but a number survived in MOW service on the NH.  The car in Tilton appears to have new ends and the original doors.  It also has arch bar trucks, but the more modern trucks may have been taken off the car when it was retired to use on other equipment. There was a a multi part article on these cars in Mainline Modeler years ago that has been reprinted in the NHRHTA's Shoreliner.  F&C has a nice one piece kit with the different variations in HO scale.